Platinum Chain: A Guide to its History and Significance

Table of Contents

What is a platinum chain

Platinum chain is a chain made of 95% platinum. It is the most popular jewelry metal in the market, even more popular that gold. It is tougher and more durable than any other metal. Hence, it can be worn daily under adverse conditions.
The word “chain” conveys contradicting images. On one hand, it may convey oppression, while on the other, it symbolizes enduring love
and commitment. It can look sinister and foreboding, while on the other side of the coin, it is adorable and breathtaking. Some chains are used to keep huge ships from running aground, while others are jewelry items. This article is about the fascinating kind of chain.

Platinum Chain

The origin of the platinum chain goes a long, long way back to Ancient Civilizations, which considered chains necessary for ornamentation and ritual purposes. They used it to represent eternal love and the good stuff of human connection—with links having no beginning and an end, symbolizing life’s eternity. Let’s take a look at the long history of the platinum chain.

History of Platinum Chain

Of course, not everything in life is good and rosy. There is oppression, imprisonment, and or pain. These positive and negative aspects of life make the chain a perfect symbol of the paradox of love and life. No wonder, then, why it’s been around for so long based on specimens found in excavation in Ur, Babylon (now Iraq). The samples of gold jewelry can be dated back to 2,500 B.C.

Ancient gold chain

In the tomb of Babylonian Queen Puabi (buried in 2600 B.C.), her favorite jewelry and that of 42 attendants were found. They were made of massive amounts of gold ornaments such as headdresses and lots of chains – often embellished with lapis lazuli and carnelian beads. She wore her chains as belts and necklaces. On special occasions, she wore so much gold to bring down a small horse.

Her chains were mainly variations of the perennial loop-in-loop – a technique common in the Mediterranean, Western Asia, and,
eventually, the world. Then and now, chains flourished for both sexes.

The Rennisance period

The chain never diminished its spot in the jewelry world, even during the Renaissance period (1450 – 1650). Henry V111 was known to give chains to friends for favors done for him. But he kept the best to himself.

In the early 16th century, men in Germany and Flanders wore fashionable chains with gold links as bulky as bicycle chains.

Early 1900s to present

In the early 20th century, chains became crucial for well-dressed women (men’s chains were waiting on the sidelines). They were long and delicate and often held lorgnettes (a pair of glasses or opera glasses held in front of a person’s eyes by a long handle at one side).

Lorgnettes with a chain

Then, in the 1930s, Coco Chanel started a fad by appearing draped to the waist with gilt chains and fake pearls – a look even the working class, hit by the Depression, could afford.

Chanel chains were customized but always carried one of her philosophical sayings, such as “One must love to live and live to love.” Despite having lived in a different era, the ancient symbolism of the chain was not lost on Coco; she frequently showed it as a motif of her chains.

Due to the war, real gold chains evolved into something that resembled tank treads, gas pipe links, and bricks. Due to the war, real gold chains evolved into something that resembled tank treads, gas pipe links, and bricks. Then, in the late 1940s, brick-style bracelets became a fad, often set with citrine or aquamarine, such as those made by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Three decades later, long gold chains were back. They were chunky and sleek. Through the years, chains evolved into several variations, and all themes such as those still found in today’s fashion magazines.

The chain is a classic jewelry item, and designers and studio jewelers have been finding ways to weave into their inspirations and desires.

Today’s chains reflect countless innovations and evolutions, yet they never get old.

Platinum Jewelry

Chain jewelry, unlike industrial chains, is for aesthetic and ornamental purposes. They are used to encircle body parts such as the neck, wrists, and ankles. Some are also used as points to hang decorative charms and pendants.

There are nine basic types of chains using different kinds of metals such as silver, gold, titanium, and platinum. They are all good chain materials and have their pros and cons. This article, however, is about platinum – the best jewelry metal.

Early History and Impact of Platinum

No comprehensive understanding of the platinum chain is possible without a deep dive into the metal itself.

Platinum ores

Like gold, the earliest entry of platinum into men’s affairs occurred about 3,000 years ago, involving the Ancient Egyptians who made gold jewelry with traces of platinum. No, it was not alloyed with gold but a natural component of the gold ores they imported from Nubia (an ancient region in northeastern Africa).

On the other side of the world, around 100 B.C., native South Americans used platinum to create metal nose rings and other items for ceremonial purposes.

Then, in the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadores came searching for gold. Though in abundance, they never paid any attention to platinum, considering it an inferior metal because it was difficult to melt and work with. They called it the “Platino pel Pinto,” or “little silver of the Pinto River,” in recognition of the Colombian river where it was first found.

From there on, platinum followed the following timeline from nothing to fame:

  • 1557 – Italian-French scientist Julius Scaliger discovered that platinum is not silver but a new metal. It failed to stir
    interest in the scientific world and was shelved and forgotten for the next two hundred years.
  • Mid-18th century – platinum was rediscovered by Spanish scientist, Antonio de Ulloa and became a subject of great interest to European alchemists interested in transforming it into gold.
  • 1751 – Swedish scientist Theophil Scheffer declared platinum a precious metal. From thereon, platinum rose from obscurity to an object of desire.
  • 1783 – French chemist François Chabeneau discovered a method of purifying platinum. Then, in 1783, he made the famous chalice of Pope Pius V! from platinum.
  • In the early 1800s, William Hyde Wollaston and Smithson Tennant discovered how to make platinum malleable, opening the
    gateway for the commercial application of the metal.
  • 1822 – platinum was discovered in Russia. Shortly thereafter, it began to be fashioned into decorative chains, followed by platinum cuff links shirt studs in the 1850s.
  • In the 1890s – Cartier in France and Tiffany & Co., in New York began using platinum in fine jewelry. At that time, one of the
    biggest challenge of working on platinum was its extremely high melting point of about 3224 degrees F (1773 degrees C).
  • In the 20th century – platinum jewelry became a status symbol

Platinum Chain 

Silver, gold, and platinum are the most common metals used in chains. So, to the question, “Can you make a chain out of platinum?” The answer is “Yes.” But it requires different skills, from making silver or gold jewelry. It requires a lot of training and some specialized equipment for a jeweler to make men’s platinum chains or women’s.

Since immemorial, chain necklaces have been popular jewelry items and are not showing any signs of slowing down – from chunky, thin, flat, etc. The hottest trends revolve around chokers, links, pendants, and newer styles intended to stir up your sentimental feelings.

Platinum chain necklace

Platinum is a rare precious metal, and platinum jewelry labeled “950 platinum” is an alloy of 95% platinum and 5% other metals, making it a dense but malleable silver-white metal ideal for crafting jewelry.

The current demand for platinum jewelry is estimated at 1.35 million ounces. However, this has been decreasing for the past ten years. The major reasons for this are its rarity and difficulty working with the metal.

Platinum chain width chart

So if you are wondering how much is a platinum chain, there is no specific answer to that. The price depends on several factors, such as style, design, length, supplier, etc. One thing for certain is that it is more expensive than a gold chain.

Platinum – the Best Metal for Jewelry

Several metals are used in jewelry, such as silver, sterling silver, gold, titanium, cobalt, aluminum, tin, and palladium; the list can continue forever. The best, however, is platinum.

Then you may wonder, “Why platinum is the best metal for jewelry?”

Platinum is the world’s most precious metal. For its beauty and value, the metal has always been the ultimate expression of celebrations of all kinds, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.

Aside from being one of the rarest precious metals on earth, it has a rich and noble history. First used by the Egyptians about 3000 years ago, by the Incas about eight hundred years later, and as one of the jewelry of King Louis XVI of France by the year 1780.

As a metal, platinum has the following characteristics:

  • Pure and its color will not fade and change even under extreme conditions.
  • It is a non-irritating metal that suits people – even those with sensitive skin.
  • The metal is very stable and will not cause any negative effects on the body.
  • It has a very bright and elegant color.
  • Ideal for wear for daily activities because it cannot be destroyed or broken easily.

Is platinum good for a chain?

Yes! Platinum is suitable for a chain. It is extremely durable and robust, making it ideal for daily wear. It is highly resistant to stress. It can withstand extremely hot and cold temperatures and retain its wonderful looks compared to other metals.

The metal is good for platinum necklace chains or other chains such as ball, box, cable, or cord chains.

Not only are they stunning in beauty, but they have excellent value as well because of their inherent qualities, such as purity, strength, durability, and rarity.

Tips for Buying Platinum Chain

Buying necklace jewelry is an exciting experience. You must consider beauty, versatility, elegance, strength, resilience, and durability to get the most out of your purchase.

All these are even more true when buying a platinum chain because of its cost, rarity, and difficulty working on it. To help you make the right choice, follow these simple and tried tips;

Verify
A jewelry metal’s price is always a function of its purity. Platinum’s hallmark for purity varies from country to country. For example, in India, its mark of purity is Pt950, which means it is 95% pure. Make sure you know its hallmark in your own country.

Another thing to remember is each piece of jewelry has a Unique Identification Number that identifies the maker.

Hence, if you are buying a platinum chain for men, make sure the item carries its purity hallmark and maker identity.

Check the “making” charges
“Making” charges are the costs associated with designing and crafting (plus labor and other charges) a jewelry item. Platinum is a rare and valuable metal, and it is difficult to work it into intricate pieces of a chain. Hence, you must expect these “making” charges to be higher than other metals such as gold. But they are worth it if the platinum chain you are buying is an intricate, uniquely designed chain with excellent workmanship.

Compare prices and purchase conditions
Other than workmanship quality, design, and seller’s reputation, comparing prices and buying conditions between different merchants is crucial. Prices are affected by location, overhear, suppliers, etc. Some merchants differ in their purchase policies, like returns and buy-back options. It is necessary to know all these things before plunging into something you may regret later on.

Seller reputation
Jewelry is a very competitive business, full of sellers who are not so upfront in doing business. Untrustworthy merchants peddle a lot of platinum look-alikes. Jewelry hallmarks and identification marks can easily be faked. So exercise prudence in buying your platinum chain. Always buy it from well-known and reputable merchants.
Metal quality
Of course, when buying a platinum chain, be sure you get the right quality. Never settle for something less than 95% pure. You can verify that if you only buy from reliable jewelry shops.
Make a statement
When buying a platinum chain, don’t settle for the run-of-the-mill type. Choose one that will stand out in a crowd of chains. Something that makes a statement. For starters, choose one with diamonds or with other precious gemstones.

Is a platinum chain worth it?

Platinum is an excellent metal for chains compared to other precious metals like gold. It may cost a little more, but it is a lot tougher and durable and does not lose its luster. A platinum chain can be worn daily under varying conditions. For more about chains, visit A Guide to the Different Types of Chain Necklaces.
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